The Brand Gap - How to bridge the distance between business strategy and design


How much do I want to read more? 8/10

I like very much the definition of Brand, which is actually subtle, but essential in marketing. Reminds me of Sinneck's Ted talk about Apple.
I like that the book is short, concise and to the point.
A fine book. There's much reflection in it. You can read, pause and reflect.


Preface

Your time is valuable, so my first goal is to give you a book you can finish in a short plane ride. My second goal is to give you powerful principles that will last a career.

Introduction

What a Brand Isn’t.

a brand is not a logo.
a logo, or any other kind of trademark, is not the brand itself. It’s merely a symbol for it.

Second, a brand is not a corporate identity system.
Today there’s still a need for identity manuals and the visual consistency they bring. But consistency alone does not create a brand.

Finally, a brand is not a product.
To manage a brand is to manage something much less tangible—an aura, an invisible layer of meaning that surrounds the product.

So what exactly is a brand?

It’s a GUT FEELING because we’re all emotional, intuitive beings, despite our best efforts to be rational.
in the end the brand is defined by individuals. Each person creates his or her own version of it.
While companies can’t control this process, they can influence it by communicating the qualities that make this product different than that product.
When enough individuals arrive at the same gut feeling, a company can be said to have a brand. In other words, a brand is not what YOU say it is. It’s what THEY say it is.

To use Plato’s example, whenever we hear the word “horse” we visualize a majestic creature with four legs, a long tail, and a mane falling over a muscular neck, an impression of power and grace, and the knowledge that a person can ride long distances on its back.
A brand, like Plato’s horse, is an approximate—yet distinct—understanding of a product, service, or company.
To compare a brand with its competitors, we only need to know what makes it different. Brand management is the management of differences, not as they exist on data sheets, but as they exist in the minds of people.

Why is Brand Suddenly Hot?

The idea of brand has been around for at least 5,000 years. So why is it such a big deal now?

Because as our society has moved from an economy of mass production to an economy of mass customization, our purchasing choices have multiplied.
We’ve become information-rich and time-poor. As a result, our old method of judging products—by comparing features and benefits—no longer works.

Today we base our choices more on symbolic attributes. What does the product look like? Where is it being sold? What kind of people buy it? Which “tribe” will I be joining if I buy it? What does the cost say about its desirability? What are other people saying about it? And finally, who makes it? Because if I can trust the maker, I can buy it now and worry about it later. The degree of trust I feel towards the product, rather than an assessment of its features and benefits, will determine whether I’ll buy this product or that product.

In Verisign We Trust